Spoilers met themselves in the past and spoiled the ending.
We’ve seen this film before. Okey, not this specific one, but a different version of it. The 80s is all over it so much that you wonder how didn’t they worked the 80s into the plot. Then again, the comparisons are already overwhelming enough. Netflix is not to blame for this familiar concoction. It’s got everything fandoms love jam packed into a feature that lasts less than a two hours runtime. Let’s unpack and see what we have while the popcorn is ready.
The Adam Project (2022) was directed by Shawn Levy and written by Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, and Mark Levin. Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) has gone back into the past where he will run into his past twelve-year old self, Adam Reed (Walker Scobell). Grown-up Adam is on a mission to find his wife Laura (Zoe Saldaña). 12-yr old Adam is growing up with her single mom, Ellie (Jennifer Garner). He’s still processing the death of his father Louis (Mark Ruffalo), who just happens to have invented time travel. There’s more, too much actually, but it’s not particularly important.
It’s not a Marvel film, but it’s Marvel’s blueprint for sure. It’s not the players’ fault, but the movie does play to Reynolds’ wit and charisma. Impressively enough, Walker Scobell actually shines in his role as Adam’s child version, matching and often excelling as his younger version. Their dynamic does carry the film through a few spells where the movie could’ve lagged. So, there’s a story there but no sooner we’re introduced to the one-and-a-half-Adam duo when we suddenly get the antagonists show up and of course the CGI fest begin.
The problem here is this film is full with plot devices/contrivances. The time-traveling jet’s AI requires Adam’s DNA to allow him in but won’t allow him to fly because he’s hurt. The AI will be fooled by the young Adam without sensing his age, though. This is just to get young Adam to come along. There are also time-logic rules that are use to course-correct the story in a different direction or leave characters behind because so and so. That means that we get wife Laura encountering our Adam duo briefly just for a quick rendezvous.
Zoe Saldaña’s performance is not bad, but since we haven’t seen Laura and Adam together, it’s too short for their separation to be heartfelt. We’re not invested in them. We’re actually a lot more invested in Adam+1. It’s the longest dynamic in the film. It doesn’t help that when we meet Mark Ruffalo as Dad aka Louis Reed, I couldn’t help but think that’s just Bruce Banner leftovers warmed up. He is not bad either, it’s just more recycled stuff. At least Jennifer Garner’s Ellie does get an arc as Adam’s grieving mother trying to rebuilt her life and connect with her aloof son and get some closure. However, the same can’t be said for everyone else. I’m not saying the storyline is a complete zero, but I wish it try to focus more on the things it does well and stopped adding unnecessary stuff on top.
Barely recommended as a rerun of other films for fans of fandoms or a popcorn watch. There are 80s premises mixed up in a Marvel blueprint, so you’re going to need lots of popcorn. It doesn’t challenge anything, but at least provides some entertainment. I like Reynolds & Ruffalo, but they’re playing characters we already are familiar with. Young actor Walker Scobell does perhaps the only original character. There’s CGI sci-fi action scenes that bring nothing. Feels almost like a fandom project thrown together out of several parts but becomes a jarring mix. I would say it’s worth a watch for the Adam & Adam dynamic, but everything else will feel like a rewatch already in the first run.
That will do for now.